Telephone for general enquiries 0300 111 1202
For press and media enquiries   0845 460 1202
Postal Address: 17 Dean Street, Liskeard,
Cornwall, PL14 4AB


The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is an entirely voluntary organisation keeping a visual watch along UK shores.   

Each station assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline.

Currently 50 NCI stations are operational and manned by over 2000 volunteers keeping watch around the British Isles from Rossall  Point in the North West, through Wales, to Wearside in the North East.

Whilst high technology and sophisticated systems are aids to improved safety, a computer cannot spot a distress flare, an overturned boat or a yachtsman or fisherman in trouble. Other vulnerable activities like diving, wind surfing and canoeing are made safer with visual surveillance.

NCI watchkeepers provide the eyes and ears along the coast, monitoring radio channels and providing a listening watch in poor visibility. They are trained to deal with emergencies, offering a variety of skills and experience and full training by the NCI ensures that high standards are met.

Over 240,000 hours of organised coastal surveillance were completed in 2015 alone, all at no cost to the public. Funding is managed by a Board of Trustees with a constitution agreed by the Charity Commission and relies heavily on local support.

For further statistics, and details of incidents reported by NCI, please click here.

Latest news

  • 12th July 2016. The newly appointed Chairman of the National Coastwatch Institution, Lesley Suddes, visited NCI Caister today.The NCI station at Caister opened in 2011 and is unique amongst NCI...
  • 28th June 2016. The St Albans Head lookout is situated on a windswept headland, which is a feature of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The headland is part of the Encombe Estate, which is...
  • 24th June 2016. Situated on the South West Coat Path, NCI St Albans welcomes visitors throughout the year. Three times a year - on the Easter, late May and August bank holiday weekends - the lookout...

Donate online

Donate online
NCI relies entirely upon voluntary contributions for its continuing existence and expansion. Please help us with a donation.
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NCI needs volunteer watchkeepers to help safeguard the lives of yachtsmen, fishermen, canoeists and other users of coastal waters.
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Find a Station

Click here to go to a map of the UK, showing the location of each station. Click a pin to show the station name, click Station Name to go to station home page.